Measure S Would Stop Wayyy More Than 5% of New Housing

The spokesperson for Measure S, Jill Stewart, has repeatedly claimed that the initiative will only stop about 5% of development. In September, she said that Measure S “allows 95% of all development to continue while the greediest 5% of developers are put on a timeout.” This is yet another case of the Measure S campaign deliberately distorting the facts.

The truth is, while only about 5% of projects may be affected by Measure S, a much larger number of units will go unbuilt—and in the end, it’s units that matter to the housing shortage. Between 2013 and 2015, between 6 and 23 percent of permitted multifamily units required a general plan amendment, zone change, or height district variance. That’s about 6,000 homes that wouldn’t have been built over a 3-year period in which population growth already exceeded housing growth.

More recent numbers paint an even darker picture, with unofficial reports from the Department of City Planning stating that up to approximately 50 percent of units currently seeking permits would be banned if Measure S were to pass. It would also directly prevent the construction of thousands of homes reserved for low and moderate income households. That’s not a loss that Los Angeles can afford right now, when vacancy rates are at historic lows and renters are forced to play musical chairs for the few available units.

LA_VacancyRate_2005-2016

When Angelenos approved Measure JJJ in November with 64% of the vote, they stated emphatically that they’re okay with general plan amendments and zone changes, so long as they include affordable housing, union labor, and local hire. Measure S rolls back that progress, banning these very same projects and eliminating thousands of desperately needed market-rate and affordable units, as well as tens of thousands of jobs and millions in city tax revenue.


You can find more rebuttals to Measure S lies and misrepresentations below: